Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Margaret Constantino

Committee Member

Michael F. DiPaola

Committee Member

Leslie Grant


Teachers play a critical role when it comes to impacting student achievement. As a result, quality of teachers is an issue that is being addressed through continuing professional development. Even with this emphasis, current professional development is perceived by teachers as being ineffective and lacking in relevance to student and teacher needs. However, research-based professional development practices do exist, and this study sought to explore which of these features teachers perceive to be effective within the learning experiences of lesson study, book study, and peer observations. Additionally, self-efficacy can affect teacher impact on student achievement. Four sources of efficacy contribute to feelings of confidence and can be embedded within professional development activities. Two research questions were asked in this study: Do teachers perceive lesson study, peer observations, and book study as effective forms of professional development? What are teacher perceptions of their own self-efficacy following an academic year of professional development? This qualitative study used interviews, focus group meetings, teacher journals, and field notes to answer the questions after teachers engaged in an action research cycle that included a professional development activity of their choosing. Results revealed that teachers find value in learning that includes ongoing time to learn, meaningful collaboration with peers, and teacher choice. Teachers also benefit from the self-efficacy sources of mastery experience and emotional arousal. Recommendations of this study include protecting time for teacher learning and linking it to teacher evaluation and providing teachers with opportunism to experience sources of efficacy within their learning activities.




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